Week 11…

So last week was a bit of a blur, mainly down to being pretty exhausted and poorly. Today’s round up isn’t going to be brilliant BUT there’s a few stand out things from last week! I’m feeling slightly better now (thanks NHS!) so hopefully this coming week will be better! 

I’ve been doing a bit of PE teaching the past few weeks and I’m still finding my feet with it to be honest. I’m not sure what makes a PE a good lesson, so I need to do a bit more reading about this (if you teacher types have any suggestions, I am all ears) but we have been doing Netball in Y6 – more specifically High 5. The first half of my lesson seemed to be a bit disastrous, but then by the end it got better. The kids seemed to really enjoy the lesson and my TA (who is just lovely) said it went really well! We were practising skills and then playing mini games. I have a PE observation this week (eeeeeeeeeeek) so I could do with all of the good luck possible!

I went down to Year 2 to help out as their TA was off poorly and I got to be involved in their book tasting session! It was lovely! If you’re interested in book tasting, I’ve written a blog post here: Book tasting…  The children seemed to really love it! I am hoping to do it in my next placements too!

My training this week was Writing training – we looked at using Literacy Shed and how to create a unit of writing. We looked at a video called Francis, and how to develop a unit of Ghost Stories from the video. I love a bit of English training – reading and writing are 2 of my favourite things to be involved in teaching! I also was lucky enough to go on a Maths course this week with the class teacher I am working with, centred around developing mastery and mastery with greater depth. I love Maths, number especially (I know, I’m a bit of a geek, deal with it)! There were some very interesting things to take from the course, as well as some encouragement to know that I am doing things right! 

Last week in 3 words? Exhausting. Tough. Fun.

So that was my week. Sorry it’s not as comprehensive as usual! I am still feeling quite under the weather, but I am happy to answer any questions you might have! 

S x

 

 

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S4S – colourful books!

Hola!
Today is Sunday again and you know what that means?! Starbucks for blog planning and teacher planning, then home to do teacher stuff and blog stuff. What is your usual Sunday routine? Do you have one? I am a creature of habit, y’see! 

Today on #SixforSunday we are talking:

Books with colours in the title

(This was harder than I thought!)

  1. The Green Mile – Stephen King
  2. The Amber Spyglass – Philip Pullman
  3. A Clockwork Orange – Anthony Burgess
  4. The Colour Purple – Alice Walker
  5. The Golden Compass – Philip Pullman
  6. Anne of Green Gables – L.M. Montgomery

I know. I know. These are pretty much MUST READS, and I will read them OK? Sorry. 

Share your #SixforSunday colourful books with me! I wonder if you all found this as hard as me!?

S x

 

Pick n Mix?!

I LOVE A PICK AND MIX. I would have MANY fizzy blue bottles in my bag if it were up to me… but this is to do with books, not sweets. Boo.

Pick n Mix.png(Credit: Kelly’s Ramblings for the graphic!)

Fizzy Blue Bottles

They look strange, and they taste strange, but you like them. Name a book or series with a really strange plot that you couldn’t help but love.

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I don’t know that it’s so much strange as a little bit quirky. And I don’t know how many people have read it. I ABSOLUTELY adored this trilogy. I can’t wait to have more time to reread these. Please people read.

The Metre

It goes on forever. Name the longest book series you have read.

It’s gotta be Harry Potter. I haven’t read another series that has so many books? I tend to like trilogies at the most? I don’t think I’ve read anything longer than HP.

Chocolate Raisins

No amount of chocolate can hide what’s inside. Name a book with a great cover but a disappointing story.

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I didn’t hate The Miniaturist but even now I don’t quite remember what it was about? It just didn’t tick boxes for me.

Chocolate Mice

They look sweet, but they’re secretly vermin. Name a book that surprised you with it’s villain. (Be careful not to give spoilers!)

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Not YA but I was shocked and appalled by the villain in this. I have love/hate feelings about this book!

Hard Gums

You take a bite but almost break your teeth. What book or series was hard for you to get into?

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I loved bits of this and I just enjoyed other bits. The description is beautiful it just lacked a bit of urgency, or pace for me.

Cola Bottles

Some are sweet, some are sour. Name two similar books, one you liked and one you didn’t.

I enjoyed Divergent WAY more than I enjoyed The Hunger Games. I went through a phase of reading a LOT of dystopian fictionand definitely think that Divergent bests Hunger Games for me. I know, controversial.

Fried Eggs

Some love them, some hate them. Name a book that matches the way you feel about Fried Eggs.

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I didn’t get on with Freshers as well as everyone else did. I don’t really know why, I just didn’t get it? But there are so many people who love it!

Smarties

No matter what you do, they’re everywhere. Name a trend or trope you are tired of reading.

Oh god. SO MANY. However I think the ones I hate most are “good student becomes a bad student to impress the cool kids” or “girl needs saved by boy”. These both bother me incredibly and I could dedicate hundreds of words to them both.

Gummy Bears

Name your favourite fictional creature or animal.

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So many of the characters in ‘The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe’ – Mr Tumnus, Aslan… this book makes my heart so happy!

Pick ‘n’ Mix!

So many sweets, so much variety. Name some of your favourite diverse books!

If you fancy doing this tag then feel free! Most of the people I want to tag have already done it! Knock yourself out! 

Let me know on twitter, or in the comments, if you disagree or agree with any of my choices, I love a good natter! 

S x

BOOKBLOG: Kate Jane Neal

Words and Your Heart: beautiful, poignant, perfect for teaching children about kindness.

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“Your words are amazing! This book is about your heart. The little bit inside of you that makes you, you!”

I love a picture book (as regular readers of my little blog will know), so when I come across a new picture book that I have never seen, that makes such a big impact on me, I know it is a winner. I came across Words and Your Heart in a supermarket. I’m not going to lie, I picked it up for the incredible cover, but when I read it, it struck a chord. 

Since this week is Anti-Bullying Week in the UK, this book is absolutely PERFECT resource. This book is all about how words have power and that the good and the bad words we say have an impact on people. I’m going to be taking this book and reading it to Year 6. However, this book is PERFECT for Key Stage 1 – I have a firm belief that picture books shouldn’t just be for one Key Stage though. 

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The illustrations in this book are gorgeous too. 

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There are so many things you can do with this book, with such a wide range of classes. This would be a perfect book for an assembly, story time or PSHE lesson. 

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It’s important that children know that their words matter, that their words have power. This book is the perfect book to use to highlight this.

I am so glad I found this book. It came at the perfect time. 

What are your favourite books for teaching kindness?
When you think of “kindness”, what do you think?

Let’s talk!

S x

 

Maths week: Week 10

Last week was pretty mad at school! It was Maths week! Every subject is having a curriculum week and Maths was the first subject up! There was a whole load of activities going on, some I got to join in with, some I sadly missed out on! 

Monday was formal observation day. The head and the maths coordinator observed all of the KS2 teachers on Monday, just to see what was going on in all of the classes! I was lucky enough (ha?!) to get it to coincide with needing a formal observation, so I was more formally observed, BUT it went really well. The kids were really engaged! We were looking at multiplication of 3- and 4-digit numbers by a teen number, and we used a brilliant NRICH investigation at the end of the lesson, which really got them thinking. I will definitely be using that investigation again! I got some lovely feedback from my observation from both the Maths coodinator and the head teacher, so that was a great start to my week!

Keep your eyes on my blog over the next few weeks to see what Literacy we were geting up to in Year 6. I am so proud of them that it deserves a whole blog post to it!

On Wednesday, the parents and governors were invited in to see a Maths lesson too! At one point there were approx. 14 parents, the chair of governors (who is also our class governor), all 31 of my kids and the 2 adults supporting for my lesson, so that was a very full classroom! I am very lucky to have the support I do and I couldn’t get through my lessons if I didn’t have the amazing TAs I do! For Wednesday’s lesson, we were looking at negative numbers. I’d be telling lies if I said I wasn’t nervous at the prospect of parents coming in to my lesson, but it went well. I would even go so far as to say in future it’s something I would like to encourage. It’s important to build those relationships with parents! As ever, the kids were brilliant. The chair of governors had some lovely things to say about the lesson too, so that’s always great!

We also went on a trip to the Hatton Gallery, at Newcastle University. We have started looking at Pop Art in Year 6, so to coincide with this there is a brilliant exhibit on at the Hatton. We went and learned a bit more about Pop Art and then the children got the chance to produce their very own piece of Pop Art too! I’m hoping to make a display of their work, let’s see if I can find a board at school to use! 

This last week went over in a blur! I was poorly for a bit of it, and I am still a little poorly BUT I am definitely looking forward to the week ahead. This week I’m teaching more Maths, leading PE in Y6, on a Maths course, finally getting to observe a few other teachers, it’s Anti Bullying Week and we’ve got auditions for Christmas Play too! EEK.

This week: exhausting, draining, brilliant.

Don’t forget if you have any questions, I am more than willing to answer! Comment, tweet or message me! 

S x

 

 

S4S – War books

Guten morgen!

Tis I Sunday again, how are we all? What is going on in your lives today? Antyhing exciting? 

Today, I am off to a memorial service, so thought it was only just to do a #SixforSunday about:

War books

As usual, these may be books I’ve read or books I want to read! 

  1. Anna and the Swallow Man – Gabriel Savrit
  2. The Book Thief – Markus Zuzak
  3. Letters from the Lighthouse – Emma Carroll
  4. Goodbye Mister Tom – Michelle Magorian
  5. Once – Morris Gleitzman
  6. Wave Me Goodbye – Jacqueline Wilson

(This ended up being mostly children’s books… not sorry!)

Now the war is one of my favourite  things to watch/read about so please shot loudly your recommendations at me! I would love to see your #SixforSunday posts too! Tweet me or leave them in the comments and I will check them out! 

S x

BOOKBLOG: Oliver Jeffers

So… Oliver Jeffers everyone. If you know him and his books, you probably love him. I know I most certainly do. Most teachers I know do. I could talk about his books forever and a day and not quite get across how much I adore his books.

But anyway, his newest book ‘Here We Are’ is published next week and it is amazing. It is everything I want in a children’s book AND SO MUCH MORE.

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“Insightfully sweet, with a gentle humor and poignancy, here is Oliver Jeffers’ user’s guide to life on Earth. He created it specially for his son, yet with a universality that embraces all children and their parents. Be it a complex view of our planet’s terrain (bumpy, sharp, wet), a deep look at our place in space (it’s big), or a guide to all of humanity (don’t be fooled, we are all people), Oliver’s signature wit and humor combine with a value system of kindness and tolerance to create a must-have book for parents.”

‘Here We Are’ is one of the kindest, most beautiful picture books of the year (and yes that is a BIG claim, but I truly believe it). It’s a book filled with information about the world, filled with messages that are important for us to deliver to our children. I didn’t realise it was a book he had written for his son, and then last few pages absolutely made me crumble. I think that is an incredible idea

This book is filled with all of the usual charm of Jeffers’ books – they’re beautifully illustrated, poignant, meaningful and uplifting – with an added extra little something. You learn from this book, you yearn to read more, you’ll smile (if you’re sentimental like me, you’ll cry) and you’ll want to share this with anyone and everyone you come across. 

This book is special. This is a book that I want to share with all of the littles in my life. It sounds like a conversation, like he is talking to his son, so reading it aloud is beautiful. I know it had the children at school gripped and they all adored it. It has been in some very gentle hands ever since, with the idea that I will most definitely buy another copy

There’s some brilliant science-y bits in there too! 

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This book is an advice manual written for Oliver Jeffers son, but it is most definitely a manual that ALL of us can take on board. 

Look after each other, look after our world, look after your world.  

I cried. I smiled. I had my heart warmed.
That’s what I want from my picture books!

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How cute is this dude too? (He’s hidden inside the dust jacket!)

Thank you so much to the wonderful people of HarperCollins Children’s for sending me this book… I just adore it. 

Have you read any of Oliver Jeffers’ books?
What is one piece of advice you want to leave for our next generation?

Let me know in the comments, or tweet me (@eenalol). I would love to make a post with all of your wonderful pieces of advice!

S x

November bujo!

A new month is upon us, so a new bullet journal post is also upon us!

Thank you for all of your enthusiasm about my October bullet journal! post. I got some lovely comments from you all… I am still very much a bujo novice BUT I have started to see the benefit in using it every day. My bullet journal has quickly become part of my nightly routine – I fill in the mood tracker, my happy thing for the day and check out what is happening the next day. Not only that but it is now part of my weekly routine too, Friday night or Saturday night I will get round to doing the next week’s weekly page too.

Reflecting on the pages that worked really well in October, I have to say my mood tracker is easily my favourite mood tracker I have done so far – it looks SO colourful and gorgeous. I might share a picture on my IG/Twitter if you’re interested! I have to say November’s mood tracker isn’t nearly as fun, but I’m thinking about adapting the October idea for a Christmas theme… watch this space! Other pages that worked well were my book pages, primarily due to the fact I managed to read so much in October… 16 books in total! Wow! Thanks half term!

But anyway… now that we’re in a new month, we have a new set of pages! 

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This is my month title page. I am WELL CHUFFED with the lettering. I know it could be so much better but I am quite impressed tbh. The random splodges are meant to be fireworks: it worked in my head, not so much on the page. But I love this page.

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The next double spread is my mood tracker (see, not as fun as October’s umbrella) and my grateful page. I went for a maze of boxes and some new emotions to track this month. I definitely am still figuring out which emotions I feel most often to track BUT I think I’m getting there! The other half of the page is my thankful/grateful page. It says, “Find the sunshine in EVERY day” as I’ve come to notice that I NEED that look back and finding something positive about my days, especially on bad days. Looking back on these pages are great for my well-being too. Seeing the successes (no matter how big or small) from the months is definitely something to perk you up. 

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The next double spread is a bookish themed double spread. My book post page is becoming a staple. I am still so very lucky to get book post, so this page helps me to keep track of what I’ve received and from who, whether I’ve put it on my social media and whether I have read it or not. It’s interesting looking back to see how much of my bookpost is the stuff I have read! (side note: how cute is my little face on my title?!) The other half is my books read page – I’m being brazen and going for 9 books… I don’t know if I’ll achieve that but I definitely will be trying. I started tracking pages at the end of October, so decided to add that in on this page too. 

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My final double spread so far is the biggie – the weekly spread. I love the little flag post that helps me track the weeks (for those who’ve asked in the past, I track in academic weeks, being a teacher and all. My year works from September to August ha!) So there’s space for Mon – Fri, where I write in what lessons I’m teaching, training etc; a massive To Do box, because so much to do, and a Weekend box – if I have any plans that weekend (that don’t involve work ha!). On the other side is the basic calendar, a sleep tracker (I work better on enough sleep, it’s useful for me to track my sleep), a mood tracker graph (I don’t find my monthly mood tracker enough to gather lots of info about my mood over the day, but a mood tracker graph has become a fave of mine… I can track my mood in the morning, afternoon and night). There’s also a self care box (what have I done for my own self care) and a box for ideas (whether its blogging ideas, life ideas, lesson ideas: they can all go in there!). Self care and ideas is something new I’m trying, I don’t know if it will stay or not… we’ll see how well it works! 

And that’s it so far! 

What am I missing that you have?
Have you had a favourite spread that you’ve kept?
Which moods do you track?
Have you got any bujo tips for me? 

Talk to me! Show me your bujo. I love seeing them! You’re all so talented! Comment or talk to me on twitter/instagram (@eenalol). 

S x

Week 9?!

So last week was madness. Week 1 of any half term is always the most exhausting. Half term is a lovely time in a teacher’s life when they can kind of breathe a little bit – don’t get me wrong theres still 1000004 things to be done, but there’s a little bit of breathing room. I certainly had lots to do in half term (and I still do…)

Being back at work is always a joy for me. I love my job. It gives me real purpose. There’s a blog post coming up next week that I go into a bit more detail about my motivations behind teaching and my pursuit of this career, so I hope you enjoy that when it goes live! 

What did Week 9 have in store? 

On Monday, we had a teacher training day and we went to observe in another school in Newcastle for a little while. It’s always a brilliant opportunity to get to see other teachers in action and seeing how things work in other schools. I’ve worked in my school for a long time now, so for me getting out and about and seeing other schools is brilliant. I love going to other schools to have a snoop around and share ideas. Teachers are sharing people and I love that. I got to see half a Y4 Maths lesson and then went into Y6 as the teacher was doing biographies (just so happens that I was starting biographies in Y6 last week too!) Monday afternoon, we did some assessment things and I got to work on MFL assessment documents too! So a very productive Monday indeed.

On Tuesday, we had some brilliant ICT training! Our ICT consultant came in to do some Green Screen training with us and it was a great day. Year 6 were SO good with it and I plan on incorportating the ideas into lessons in the future. I love learning new ICT things, especially things that can be used in such a versatile way! 

Wednesday brought a pretty usual day at school: some teaching, some observing. I observed in Reception in their phonics session – I am going to be doing more observing in the future, as early phonics is one of the things that I need to build my confidence and skill set in. It’s incredible seeing the quick progress they’re making from my last session in there! They’re like little sponges at that age. We had our Monsters’ Ball after school on Wednesday, so it was a long day! But it’s things like these events that make it fun!

I had a meeting on Thursday morning and then we had training over at a local 3-18 school where we learned about their small school model. It’s always interesting to learn how other schools work, so seeing how their school works and what they have implemented, so that made for an interesting few hours. I even got to take part in a Construction lesson – I built a dry wall. The focus was on using maths in different subjects, I was chosen to go to Construction, with others going to Food Tech and some in Art. (Yes, I built that!)

Friday brought the delights of an observation (ALWAYS TERRIFYING). I was far less nervous for this observation than I was my first observation, but I was still anxious. Being watched is a nervous thing! I just wanna always do well. Teaching is the thing for me. This observation was in English and we were looking at model biographies. The kids were brilliant and the lesson went really well. I got some lovely feedback from the class teacher, so that was a lovely way to end a week!

Last week in 3 words?  Brilliant. Fun. Educational (ha!)

If you have any school related questions, don’t be afraid to ask! I will answer all and any! Leave me a comment, or tweet me and I will get back to you! 

S x

S4S – Diverse books

Good afternoon!

Sorry I’m late posting my #SixforSunday today! I’m not sure where my scheduled post disappeared to! It is most certainly a mystery! 

Today’s theme is: 

Diverse books

The list includes books I have read, are on my TBR and books I am yet to buy, but am so ready to! 

  1. The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas (I haven’t read this yet, I think I may be the only person in the world to not!)
  2. The Lover’s Dictionary – David Levithan (side note: David Levithan is one of my favourite all time authors)
  3. Noughts and Crosses – Malorie Blackman (yet to read, but SO WANT TO)
  4. Eleanor and Park – Rainbow Rowell (this is one of my favourite books that I’ve read recently… I just adored it!)
  5. Six of Crows – Leigh Bardugo (again, not read BUT MY GOSH I NEED TO NOW)
  6. Release – Patrick Ness (I met him a while back and his books are just so gorgeous that this is one of my must reads…)

This is just 6 of a growing number of books. I would love to take more suggestions for diversifying my book list! So please shout them at me… it’s always welcome!

Let me know your choices for #SixforSunday too! Link me or tweet me! 

Thank you for all your support with #SixforSunday, it is appreciated massively!

 S x